WATERVILLE — Skowhegan field hockey coach Paula Doughty was hoping the Battle for Breast Cancer would raise $5,000 for the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center in Farmington.

Instead, Friday’s event at Colby College raised more than $15,000.

Doughty, with considerable help from Darcy Fitzmaurice and Elizabeth Richards, organized the Battle for Breast Cancer, a field hockey round robin featuring Mt. Blue, Nokomis, Skowhegan and Winslow high schools.

“It’s just a tremendous idea from Paula,” said Pete Webber, Martha’s husband for 33 years before Martha passed away from breast cancer in 1995. “I had no idea that it was going to be like this — all these girls dressed in pink and everybody here.”

Each team wore some shade of pink on their uniforms, and the players raised money from local businesses. Skowhegan raised $5,360, followed by Mt. Blue at $3,982, Nokomis with $2,411 and Winslow with $1,754. Additionally, a golf tournament held by the Lakewood Ladies Association raised $1,500, and another $413 came from admission and sales on Friday.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for the girls to realize that they can be a part of something that’s a lot bigger than school athletics,” Mt. Blue coach Jeannine Paradis said.

“I think this is the best fundraiser we’ve done, in terms of the cause and the kids actually participating. To go out and raise quite a bit of money for breast cancer awareness is a huge feat for these kids. They were pretty excited about being a part of it.”

Nokomis senior Becca Boyce said breast cancer runs in her family. She said her aunt just completed chemotherapy, and Boyce herself had a mole removed that could have become cancerous.

“I went around to a lot of businesses in Newport,” Boyce said. “I knew a lot of information about it, so that helped me a lot. When people knew that I knew the facts, they knew that I was really serious about it. It helped a lot with us getting more donations.”

Doughty, who came up with the idea for the event after talking to Gardiner coach Moe McNally about the annual Cony-Gardiner field hockey games for a similar cause, said her players toured the facility recently.

“I think that sports are the No. 1 bang for the educational buck,” Doughty said. “I think kids learn so much from sports, and an experience like this is just totally invaluable. The different teams have come together with a real mission.”

Pete Webber said the best thing about the event was that it would raise awareness about breast cancer. He stressed that women should have a mammogram when they turn 40.

“In Martha’s last days,” Webber said, “she said, ‘Pete, I want you to make sure that women around this area are aware what they need to do, and that’s early detection.’ That’s what so great about this (event).

“The staff (at the center) is fabulous. Mammograms now are so much easier than they were. Women don’t have to be afraid of them.”

The money raised is designated for people who are un-insured or under-insured and need treatment or would like a mammogram at the Webber Center or Franklin Memorial Hospital. Julie Sexton, the assistant to the director of fund development at Franklin Memorial, said many women without proper insurance avoid screening or mammograms because they can’t afford the cost.

“This has turned out to be incredible, the amount of money that they’ve brought in,” Sexton said. “I have no doubt in my mind that it will save a life.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]



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